the garden of the woman learned in magic
BUT HOW WAS LITTLE GERDA getting on all this long time since Kay left her? Where could he be? Nobody knew, nobody could say any- thing about him. All that the other boys knew was, that they had seen him tie his little sledge to a splendid big one which drove away down the street and out of the town gates. Nobody knew where he was, and many tears were shed; little Gerda cried long and bitterly. At last, people said he was dead; he must have fallen into the river which ran close by the town. Oh, what long, dark, winter days those were!
At last the spring came and the sunshine. 'Kay is dead and gone,' said little Gerda. 'I don't believe it,' said the sunshine. 'He is dead and gone,' she said to the swallows. 'We don't believe it,' said the swallows; and at last little Gerda did not believe it either.
'I will put on my new red shoes,' she said one morning; 'those Kay never saw; and then I will go down to the river and ask it about him!'
It was very early in the morning; she kissed the old grandmother, who was still asleep, put on the red shoes, and went quite alone, out by the gate to the river.
'Is it true that you have taken my little playfellow? I will give you my red shoes if you will bring him back to me again.'
She thought the little ripples nodded in such a curious way, so she took off her red shoes, her most cherished possessions, and threw them both into the river. They fell close by the shore, and were carried straight back to her by the little wavelets; it seemed as if the